Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How To Control Watercolor And Keep The Edges Soft

After I posted my watercolor "Blue Eyes" on Facebook, several people asked me a very good question. They were wondering how I managed to keep all the edges soft, as if I painted on wet paper, while achieving so much control, as if I painted on dry paper.

The truth is, the whole painting is based on one simple approach. Here's how it works. First, make the paper wet. Then wait until the surface is no longer glossy, but still damp and cool on touch. Next, apply the paint, varying the amount of pigment on the brush depending on your needs.
On the picture below, this approach is illustrated by the brush strokes in the middle. They are well defined, but a little bit diffused, which creates a nice and soft appearance. The brush strokes on the left were made when water was still sitting on the surface. The ones on the right were applied on completely dry paper.

In other words, all you need is catch the right moment, when the paper is not too wet and not too dry. This maybe not quite as easy as it sounds at first, but it certainly comes with practice.

Happy painting!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Big December Post

Ok, this blog has been abandoned lately, and it's one of my New Year's resolutions to be consistent with postings. Also, I wish everyone a very happy Holiday Season and a peaceful and prosperous New Year! Here are some of my December paintings - they're all about winter and snow.

"Hey, guys, leave something for me!"

Slowly painting these mittens was some sort of meditation to me:)

This birdie is flying to the new home tomorrow!

Everything cozy: coffee, cookies and Teddy bears:)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Walk With A Friend

It used to be my childhood dream to walk through the autumn leaves with a four-footed friend by my side. It's yet to come true, but maybe some dreams are better to stay that way so they always live in our hearts... and in paintings, of course.

Speaking of this watercolor, I'd like to mention my new W&N bamboo brush (Size 12) that came in handy here. I was attracted by its unusual look and, honestly, very cheap price:) Originally designed for Asian ink and watercolor painting, this brush is very helpful in making effortlessly expressive strokes. You can see them especially well in the top right corner of the painting. The only downside for me is that the brush doesn't have spring to it, since the bristles are very soft (look at the photo below). It also sheds a little bit. All in all, I found this brush worth trying out.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Still Life With Grapes

One day I was staring at the white sheet of Hahnemuhle 280lb watercolor paper and had no idea of what to paint on it. So I opened the fridge and grabbed the first thing I saw, which happened to be a bunch of grapes. Then I added my favorite Marjolein Bastin mug and a lemon leftover, and - voila - I had a juicy still life.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Embracing the Fall Colors

My favorite season is here! Craving to walk on fallen leaves and listen to the rain, but it's sunny and not quite sweater weather yet. At least the pumpkins are already starting to roll in.

Also, meet Lola enjoying the fall and cozying up in maple leaves:) I painted her for Renee who won my recent giveaway of custom pet portrait. I'm happy that Renee loved the portrait and found it to capture Lola's personality so well!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

GIVEAWAY - A Custom Pet Portrait (Cat or Dog)!

I'm running a Giveaway on my Facebook Fan Page! Click here to see the rules and participate.
Wishing you a good luck! The winner will be announced on my fan page on Aug 18th 12pm EST.

And here's one of my new pieces, a tiny hummingbird. Approx. 8x8'' on Sennelier watercolor paper.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cherry Turnovers

I've been meaning to try Hahnemuhle Leonardo watercolor paper for ages, but kept putting it off, because it wasn't available at my favorite art supply stores. So finally I ordered it on Amazon, and the paper came to me all the way from Europe. It was my first time painting on such a heavyweight (280lb) paper, and I totally loved it!

Showing you only one turnover, since I couldn't help but bite the half of a second one before I started painting it:) Also, this yummy watercolor is available on my Etsy shop.